When it comes to home renovation, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Obviously there are certain things, such as structural alterations, that require a sizeable amount of capital and equity behind them (unless you have a minimum of $500,000 equity, then structural alterations are something you’re going to want to give a miss).
So when it comes to renovating on a budget, here are six tips to help you get the most done for the smallest cost.
1. The rule of 10 percent
Never spend more than 10 percent of your property’s current value on the work you are having done. Overcapitalising is not a situation you want to find yourself in. The rule of 10 percent is useful as it means that you already have a budget to work with. This instantly gives you some perspective on what you can and can’t do before you’ve even started looking at loans.
2. The rule of 5 percent
What most people don’t realise about their home is that 5 percent of the value of your home should be in your kitchen. Think about when you last looked at a house; think about what your friends and family say when they have been to look at houses. The kitchen is often thought of as the heart of the house. It’s where all your meals are prepared, it’s where people congregate, it’s a focal point of daily life and because of that it is something that needs to instantly impress.
If you are thinking about renovating then look at your kitchen. The cabinet doors may look distressed and old, but the units themselves are in good repair. If this is the case then you don’t need to spend money on new units. You can take them out, restyle the kitchen completely with a new cooker, kitchen counters, dishwasher, marble tiled floor and brand new doors, and have the old units go back in and no one would know the difference.
3. The rule of 1 percent
When it comes to the bathroom, it should be where 1% of the value of your house is coming from. There is a huge temptation to go overboard when it comes to the bathroom, what with Japanese spa tubs and waterfall showers on offer, but look at what needs doing and spend your money wisely. If your property is worth $300,000 then you should be spending $3,000 at most on renovating it.
There are a few things you can save money on – the toilet and system very rarely need replacing in renovations, unless you are changing the entire style of the bathroom. If you are looking at a new tub and sink that are similar in design to the existing toilet, then don’t change it. Simply spend some money on decent cleaning products and get it looking like new. Equally, don’t be too cheap when it comes to things like changing the toilet seat – little things can make a big difference in the bathroom.
Look at the space you have available and decide what will work best for the space you have. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on cramming as much as you can into a bathroom so it becomes unusable.
Tiling can also have a big effect on what the bathroom looks like. Cheap tiles look cheap and get damaged very quickly, but mid-range tiles can be just as good as their more expensive counterparts and can make it much cheaper to renovate if you aren’t set on covering the bathroom with black and gold marble that has been imported from Dubai.
4. Eco-friendly is the way forward
Eco-friendly solutions to power and water systems are big money. They can be expensive to implement, but the return on them can be huge. If you’re renovating and looking to sell, then green initiatives in your house are a huge selling point that can be emphasised in the “saving money long term” mind set.
Equally if you are renovating your home to live in, then think about how much of an impact that green technology can have on your carbon footprint and on how much you spend on power and water.
5. Plan before you start
One mistake that often ends up costing people a lot more money than it should is failure to plan. Before you even pick up a paint brush or hammer decide on what you are doing. Are you renovating the whole property? Are you only focusing on specific areas? Is it just the kitchen and the outside that need attention? Does the staircase need moving or replacing? If you start before you know what you are doing and where you are going, costs can spiral out of control very quickly.
Having a general plan isn’t good enough either, knowing exactly what you are going to do in every space you are renovating is key. Suddenly realising after you’ve renovated the master bedroom that you need to move the built-in wardrobes because they are reducing the light in the room by too much will cost money that you didn’t need to spend.
If you’re planning on doing any electrical work or plumbing work, talk to experts about what is and isn’t possible on your property. Moving things and getting halfway through a job only to find you can’t do it is another waste of money on a tight budget.
6. Don’t forget the landscape
When people renovate property, they often get so focused on the interior of a property that they forget about the exterior. The adage, it’s what is on the inside that counts, really wasn’t talking about home renovation. What your house looks like from the outside is almost more important than the inside.
When people buy a house there will be things that they will always want to change, no matter how perfect you might think the property looks. However, if they walk up to a property that looks like it has been plucked straight out of Utopia from the first moment they see it, you’ll have made that all-important lasting first impression.
Designing a low maintenance, but visual stunning landscape is a lot easier than you might think. Ensuring that windows are clean, any shutters are freshly painted, that the door looks brand new (even if it’s only been varnished to bring up the colour)
Credit One also offers finance solutions for home renovations with some of the most competitive interest rates not even available from your bank. Interest rates starting from just 4.59% for personal loans which can be used for a variety of purposes including home improvements and renovations, swimming pools, spas, holidays, travel, electronics, education, weddings, medical, vehicle repairs and much more.
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